‘The Eephus’ EP Suggests Wonderful Sounds to Come from Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland Records [REVIEW + FULL STREAM] @JanelleMonae @Jidenna @Deepcotton @StBeautyband @RomanGianArthur @wondaland


With just two albums under her belt, Janelle Monáe is already widely and deservedly regarded as a musical visionary who possesses charisma, confidence and style in vast abundance. In the nearly two years since the release of her most recent LP The Electric Lady, Monáe has been diligently channeling her creative passions toward something greater than her own career: Wondaland Records. After a few years of running the imprint, Monáe’s label inked a development deal with Epic/Sony this past February. In celebrating the partnership, Epic CEO L.A. Reid adamantly explained that “Janelle is a boss! She’s the first female label boss that I’ve met who is like P. Diddy and Jay Z and Andre Harrell. She’s the first female cut from that cloth.” High praise indeed from an industry legend. Read more of this post

FKA twigs Drops Striking New EP and NSFW Short Film [FULL STREAM & VIDEO] @FKAtwigs @bootsonboots @youngturksrec


One year and change since FKA twigs unleashed her universally lauded debut album LP1, the multi-dimensional British singer-songwriter has returned in magnetic form with a new EP entitled M3LL155X (pronounced “Melissa”). Produced by the trio of tic, Cy An and Boots, the 5-track EP—her third extended play released in three years—is propelled by the coalescence of atmospheric, Bjork-like soundscapes and Twigs’ provocative, mind-stroking lyrics. Read more of this post

Remembering Yo! MTV Raps’ Final Episode 20 Years Later by Justin Chadwick [FULL VIDEO] @FABNEWYORK @MrEdLover #DoctorDré @MTV @justin_chadwick


Went to Short Dog’s house / they was watching Yo! MTV Raps
– Ice Cube, “It Was a Good Day” (1993)

For most of us who grew up in the 1980s & 1990s, MTV was the linchpin of our musical discovery and subsistence, an indispensable part of our daily existence. It was the epitome of appointment viewing for me, as I vividly recall spending hours upon hours of my pre-teen and teenage years transfixed by the images and sounds the network spun in constant rotation.

Beyond its staple music videos, MTV’s original programming—both music-focused and otherwise—was undeniably addictive. 120 Minutes. Club MTV. House of Style. MTV Unplugged. The State. MTV News 1515. Even the first handful of seasons of The Real World. I devoured these programs, primarily because most of them were connected to the celebration of music, whether directly or peripherally. Read more of this post

Revisiting the Top 5 Paisley Park Albums, Beyond Prince’s Own by Miles Marshall Lewis @furthermucker


Curtis Mayfield founded his own Curtom Records in 1968. The Beatles founded Apple Records the same year, when Steve Jobs was just 13. Sly Stone started Stone Flower in 1970, etc., etc. So on April 22, 1985, when Prince and the Revolution’s Around the World in a Day ushered in the Warner Bros. Records-distributed vanity label Paisley Park Records, there was an air of inevitability about it. Consider too that albums by The Time, Vanity 6 and Apollonia 6 all came stamped as products of The Starr Company (the nonexistent enterprise of the nonexistent Jamie Starr, Prince’s early ’80s pseudonym) and the certainty of Prince’s own official imprint was written in the Starrs. Read more of this post

Talib Kweli Surprises, Delights and Inspires with New Album ‘F**k the Money’ [FREE DOWNLOAD] @TalibKweli


Talib Kweli has unveiled a brand new album entitled Fuck the Money, and appropriately enough, he has generously made it available to download and enjoy for free exclusively via his Kweli Club online store. Throughout the album’s eleven tracks, the Brooklyn-bred emcee waxes eloquent and introspective about the moral bankruptcy inherent within the government, justice system and financial sector, while condemning our country’s rampant obsession with materialism in its various forms. The album features guest contributions from Miguel, Styles P, Kendra Ross, and Casper Nyovest, among others. Read more of this post

Immerse Yourself in the Smooth, Soulful Sounds of Noah [FULL STREAMS] @noahmusic_

If you peruse the depths of the inter-web, there often lie undiscovered, underappreciated talent. Fitting this description is Los Angeles native, Noah. The singer-songwriter keeps a low-profile SoundCloud page full of vocal-driven, trance-inducing soul music. There are no signs of a full-length project from the talented up-and-comer just yet, but these tracks here are certainly enough to hold us over…for now. Read more of this post

It’s Simple Math: DJ Krs. + Majid Jordan + Drake = Good Music [FULL STREAM] @majidjordan @drake @producedbykrs @OVOSound


Here at soulhead, we’ve come to know Krs. as the young DJ with a signature style and a knack for flipping songs and making them his own. This time around, Krs. has decided to revamp “My Love,” a track recently released by OVO duo Majid Jordan featuring Drake. In true Krs. fashion, the bass-heavy remix complements the original well. Stream the remix below and enjoy!

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Cool to Kill: The Ascendance of N.W.A and Gangsta Rap by Michael A. Gonzales @gonzomike @drdre @icecube @mcrencpt #EazyE #DJYella


When I first heard pioneering Los Angeles rap crew Niggaz Wit Attitudes (N.W.A) in the late 1980s, they were the last brothers I ever thought I’d be watching a film about damn near thirty years later. With the release of their marauding masterpiece Straight Outta Compton (1988), which inspired the title of the film biopic that hits theaters this Friday, the four-man crew crashed on the scene rapping about crack, guns and bitches, and went from unknown to infamous virtually overnight. On the thuggish track “Gangsta Gangsta,” Ice Cube bellows over the hypnotic Dr. Dre blessed beat, “Takin’ a life or two that’s what the hell I do, you don’t like how I’m livin’, well fuck you.” All up in your face, one could damn near feel Cube’s spittle. “Do I look like a muthafuckin’ role model? To a kid lookin’ up to me, life ain’t nothin’ but bitches and money.” Read more of this post

MUST LISTEN: Lady Leshurr – “Queen’s Speech Ep.4 (Brush Your Teeth)” [FULL VIDEO] @LadyLeshurr


A few days ago, our staff noticed this amazing sister’s track being heavily commented on and had to take a listen. BOY, are we happy we did. Combining punchline-laden content with a hot British accent, Kingshurst, Solihull, England’s own Lady Leshurr is on FIYAH!!!! Like Heavy D, she’s got her own thang and we LOVE IT! Dropping clever references to everything from Fetty Wap to Rachel Dolezal, she simply entertains and makes you lean in to her brand of hip-hop. In short, this is dope and should be shared everywhere. Read more of this post

Hiatus Kaiyote Go Deep on Sublime “Breathing Underwater” [FULL VIDEO] @HiatusKaiyote @artykarateparty


The Australian genre-bending quartet Hiatus Kaiyote have blessed us with a new video for “Breathing Underwater,” one of the many notable tracks from their magnificent sophomore album Choose Your Weapon, one of soulhead’s favorite long players to surface this year. The exquisitely produced video, which debuted via Rolling Stone yesterday, juxtaposes stunning images of water, sand and stone with the band’s stirring, Stevie Wonder-inspired performance. Read more of this post

Blackalicious Deliver Unequivocally Eloquent Tune “Blacka” from Forthcoming Long Player ‘Imani, Vol. 1’ [FULL STREAM] @blackalicious_ @ChiefXcel @realgiftofgab


Blackalicious, the dynamic Bay Area hip-hop duo revered for Gift of Gab’s lyrical acumen and Chief Xcel’s transformative soundscapes, are back with renewed vitality, after a decade-long hiatus since their most recent album, 2005’s The Craft. On September 18th, the tandem will unveil their much-anticipated fourth full-length album Imani, Vol. 1, the product of a successful crowdfunding initiative via PledgeMusic. Read more of this post

Soul Siren Angie Stone Duets with Late-Great Teddy Pendergrass on Forthcoming ‘Love & Soul’ Album [FULL STREAM] @angiestone @CleopatraRecord


One of the most beloved voices in the history of soul music and a staple of the Philly Sound, the late Teddy Pendergrass first earned worldwide recognition during the early 1970s as the lead singer of the renowned Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. Indeed, much of the group’s success can arguably be attributed to Pendergrass’ commanding baritone, which blessed classic tracks such as “I Miss You (Part 1)”, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “The Love I Lost (Part 1)”, “Wake Up Everybody,” and “Don’t Leave Me This Way.” Read more of this post

#SleptOnSoul: El DeBarge’s ‘Heart, Mind & Soul’ by Michael A. Gonzales [FULL ALBUM STREAM] @gonzomike @ElDeBarge @KennyEdmonds


Marvin Gaye has served as the coked-out patron saint for countless soul men who rightfully hear in his voice and music something sonically special and painfully honest. In his nearly forty-five year lifetime, Gaye rose from wannabe lounge lizard worshipping at the altar of Frank Sinatra to become one of the most distinctive vocalists of his generation. Coming out of the Motown music factory in the sixties, Gaye not only made hit singles (“Hitchhike,” “If This World Was Mine”), but also forced the label to think beyond their 7-inch singles mentality when he crafted the brilliant concept album What’s Going On in 1971. A hard-hitting aural statement that was sung in the softest voice, What’s Going On was as powerful as Martin Luther King marching through Selma, as strong as a Malcolm X speech, and as rousing as a Molotov cocktail thrown from a moving car during yet another civil unrest. Read more of this post

#LongPlayLove: Deee-Lite’s ‘World Clique’ – Celebrating 25 Years by Justin Chadwick [FULL ALBUM STREAM] @justin_chadwick @ladykier @towatei #DJDmitry


Happy 25th Anniversary to Deee-Lite’s debut album World Clique, originally released August 7, 1990.

History has not been as kind as it should be to the criminally underappreciated Deee-Lite. The selective memory-driven preoccupation with the massively successful single “Groove Is in the Heart” has unfortunately—and incredulously—obscured the group’s true musical legacy, the undeniable power of their message, the vivacity of their spirit, and the brilliance of their recorded repertoire.

Granted, the buoyant “Groove Is in the Heart” is a universally loved classic, and understandably so. But the story and music of Deee-Lite does not begin and end with their most recognizable song. There’s so much more to love and revere about this genre-bending trio, and those who lazily pigeonhole them as a one-hit-wonder need to have their ears, hearts, and souls checked for signs of life. Read more of this post

Dr. Dre Orchestrates ‘Compton: A Soundtrack’ for His Next (and Final?) Episode by Justin Chadwick [ALBUM REVIEW] @drdre @Beats1 @AppleMusic @justin_chadwick


To quote a certain Mr. James Todd Smith, don’t call it a comeback, Dr. Dre has been here for years. Thirty years to be more precise, if you rewind to Dre’s first appearance on wax on the World Class Wreckin’ Cru’s 1985 debut EP World Class, which immediately preceded his five years as the sonic mastermind behind west coast hip-hop juggernauts N.W.A. Following the dissolution of the group in 1991, Dre flew solo and never stole even the slyest of glances in the rearview. His 1992 solo debut LP The Chronic proved a creative and commercial behemoth of a record, solidifying Dre’s reputation as an ingenious producer blessed with superhero powers, while establishing the g-funk blueprint that elevated the west coast’s sleek and funky brand of hip-hop to the forefront of the genre. Read more of this post

Give Due Credit to Quentin Miller [AUDIO STREAMS] @Quentin__Miller


If you’re a hip-hop fan, you’re aware of the media whirlwind that ensued after Meek Mill called out Drake for allegedly not authoring his own rhymes. And before we move our short attention spans to the next pop-culture craze, let us take a moment to focus on an overlooked point: Drake’s alleged ghostwriter Quentin Miller deserves some props.

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#SleptOnSoul: D’Wayne Wiggins’ ‘Eyes Never Lie’ by Michael A. Gonzales [FULL ALBUM STREAM] @gonzomike @DWayneWiggins @TonyToniTone1


It was the winter of 1996 and Tony! Toni! Toné! was on the verge of falling apart. A few months before, as the group was set to release their best, and ultimately last, album House of Music, they were fighting with one another in the way that only family can: mean and vicious. Assigned by Vibe magazine to write a feature on the trio, the publicist told me that lead singer and bassist Raphael Saadiq (Wiggins) wanted to be interviewed separately from his older brother and group founder D’Wayne Wiggins, who was also the lead guitarist, and their (play) cousin and drummer Timothy Christian Riley. Read more of this post

#LongPlayLove: Raekwon’s ‘Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…’ – Celebrating 20 Years by Justin Chadwick @justin_chadwick @Raekwon @GhostfaceKillah @RZA @WuTangClan [FULL ALBUM STREAM]


Happy 20th Anniversary to Raekwon’s debut album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, originally released August 1, 1995 on Loud Records and RCA Records.

To be sure, the ascendance of the mighty Wu-Tang Clan was impressively swift following the Staten Island crew’s landmark debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) in the fall of 1993. As their devoted fan base rapidly expanded, demand for new Wu-Tang material exploded. The group responded with ample supply in the form of the proliferation of stellar solo albums that emerged in the few years between Enter the Wu-Tang and 1997’s sophomore effort Wu-Tang Forever. Thankfully, due to RZA’s sonic perfectionism and the superior rhyming acumen of the respective Wu-Tang emcees, the quality of output was never compromised for the sake of quantity. Read more of this post

Joss Stone Evolves Her Sound on Refreshing New Album ‘Water for Your Soul’ by Ericka Blount Danois [REVIEW + INTERVIEW + FULL ALBUM STREAM] @erickablount @JossStone @Stonedrecords


Joss Stone’s seventh solo album Water for Your Soul arrives in stores today, via her label Stone’d Records, and features musical inspiration from around the globe. Stone is currently on a true world tour (a “Total World Tour,” as she calls it) with the intention of hitting every single country on Earth. She says Swaziland in southern Africa has been her favorite gig so far, and she has picked up new instruments in India and other countries, not to mention different styles of singing, sounds, scales and ways to record. Read more of this post

Tish Hyman’s “Subway Art” Will Give You Goosebumps [FULL VIDEO] @listen2tish


Bronx native Tish Hyman is a remarkable talent whose voice will give you goosebumps, and her recent attention-grabbing single “Subway Art” and its visually gripping video are all the proof you’ll need. A sobering tribute to the “lonely people” and “broken dreams” that fill the big city, on “Subway Art” Hyman—who has recently collaborated with Alicia KeysKanye West and Fabolouspaints a vivid picture of the unseen and sings on behalf of the unheard. The realness of the track’s content is definitely to be appreciated by all who can relate. With a vocal style and range eerily reminiscent of, dare we say, Lauryn Hill, but with a unique sound all her own, Hyman is an artist destined to break through soon enough. Read more of this post

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